Energy of Unidev Sponsored by: Caffeine

coffeeThe work day is already long and if projects reach deadlines or overtime is needed, they can become even longer. Many professionals can’t go a day without making their way through the Starbucks drive-thru or to the soda machine on the first floor. With caffeine having such an influence on energy required to get through the day, we decided to conduct a survey at Unidev to find out how much caffeine our company takes-in alone.

The caffeine survey sent out allowed us to analyze how much caffeine workers drink and how often they drink it. Employees at Unidev, including programmers, designers, marketers and managers, were given choices of coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks and none for caffeine preferences. The other question surveyed was the frequency they consume caffeine, with choices of daily, weekly, monthly and never. Out of 57 employees, 50 responses came in and the jury delivered its verdict.

Soda is the most popular drink of choice amongst the Unidev staff with coffee coming in as a close second. Most of our employees drink caffeine on a daily basis, while only 6 never drink caffeine. When broken down by department, soda still won over the crowd. Each department drinks soda the most, and consumes caffeine daily. Caffeine studies do support the effectiveness of caffeine in providing alertness, which in turn leads to efficiency.

Often times, people look for healthier alternatives to caffeinated drinks to keep them lively without the sugar and end-of-day crash. Making sure you get a substantial healthy breakfast which will give your body energy and the calories needed to get the day started is the first step.  Grab a handful of nuts which help convert sugar to energy, or eat fruits, veggies and whole grains. These provide fiber and fiber assists in keeping energy at a steady level. If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is the way to go.

Next study: do tech companies drink more or less caffeine in comparison to other industries. What are your thoughts?

2012 Unidev Chili Cook-off

This past Monday, November 12, 2012, Unidev held its annual chili cook-off amongst employees. There was a variety of chilies including a couple choices for the vegetarians and vegans in the office. Seven chefs concocted their best tasting creations along with some cornbread, and everyone in the office casted their ballots.

Last year, Dhanya was the champion and she was knocked out of first place this year by Jon. Jon had an abundance of great-tasting ingredients in his chili. It was just spicy enough for everyone to enjoy it, even those that can’t take the heat. Second place and also voted the most unique tasting chili, was Liz. Third place was Jared, and Dhanya took home the award for Best Afterburn this year.  Here are some pics to lick your lips to:

 

veggie chili

 

5- Alarm Honey Bacon Chili

 

2012 Chili Entries

 

 

 

TBAN 2.0

TBANUnidev is a new board member of the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada (TBAN). The board is focusing on the creation of a central unit in which the Nevada technology community can come together as one. One of the first major changes TBAN is implementing is the President’s Board. TBAN is bringing together representatives from local and state Government, the Las Vegas Chambers and the Regional Development Authority (RDA). The goal of the President’s Board is to unify the voice of technology, create synergies and communicate the goings on of each organization in efforts to encourage and advance the growth of the technology sector in Southern Nevada. Mike Gardineer, President of TBAN says, “We’re thrilled with the direction and momentum of TBAN. The Board, our generous sponsors, our membership and the community in general are all enthusiastic about solidifying and codifying the way in which technology contributes to the Nevadan economy and culture.”

 

TBAN also intends to get involved with VegasTech and the rest of the startup community. The hopes of TBAN are to facilitate a forum in which startup entities can pose questions and obtain advice and mentoring. TBAN is extending a free one year membership to all new startups that are in their first year of business in efforts to demonstrate their benefits to the startup community. In addition, TBAN will put on events and workshops that will help these young companies cultivate their futures with respect to understanding operational costs, available local resources, procedures associated with applying for trademarks and patents and how to attract investors.

 

TBAN is moving its TechNevada Honors awards to January 2013, intending to start the year off with a bang! The Awards will honor the work of local tech leaders for the past year and pave the way for a productive future. TBAN is working towards the completion of the awards’ nomination paperwork. Please visit our new website at https://www.tban.com for updates.

 

 

Tour de Switch

Switch CampusThe Las Vegas Unidev office is a half a mile from the amazing Switch. Switch is the world’s largest and most powerful data center and technology ecosystem.  A data center is used to store computer systems whether it’s for back-up or communication tools.

Last week Catherine Harris, Unidev’s VP of Mobile and Web Development toured the Switch facility with me.  The Switch facility is no ordinary data center. Since 2006 Switch and Rob Roy have over 125 claims at the patent office. This Includes 42 awarded and 83 additional designs pending release in 2012.  The data center has 2,200,000 square feet of space and 24/7/365 on site security, safety, operations, and critical infrastructure personnel. 

Switch is not only the largest data center, but they have the most powerful technology ecosystem called CORE.  CORE stands for Combined Ordering Retail Ecosystem.   Check out all the companies involved with CORE by clicking on this link http://www.switchnap.com/pages/all-things-switch/connectivity_2.php.   According to their website, no single enterprise in the world has the buying power of the combined groups that exist today in the SuperNAP client ecosystem.  This is also one of the benefits of using Switch for your business.  They have saved business thousands and thousands of dollars by offering this service to their customers.

Mobile Payment Movement Leads to Concerns Over Security

Earlier this month, Starbucks bet big on mobile payment company Square, investing $25 million in the rapidly growing startup and adding its CEO Howard Shultz to Square’s Board of Directors. August also brought an announcement from Google that their mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, now works with any major credit card. These major changes indicate the rapidly growing mobile payment movement, an industry some experts predict to reach $74 billion dollars by 2015.

Google Wallet Mobile Payment

Google Wallet interacts with the Mastercard PayPass system.

But the convenience of mobile smartphone payments have many concerned over security issues with the new payment platform. Both technical and personal concerns have arisen, and the companies heavily invested in mobile commerce are making efforts to ensure consumers stick around.

Many personal concerns stem from a fear that easy payments mean easy money for criminals who get their hands on consumer smartphones. However, most mobile applications that process payments have built in features to make them possibly more secure than traditional credit cards.

First, most mobile commerce apps require a pin number to activate the NFC (near-field communicator) antennae. Coupled with pin-based locks screens on smartphones themselves, consumers often have two layers protecting their digital wallets. Also, stolen smartphones can be tracked with the built-in GPS capabilities and shut down remotely. While these features aren’t universally true of all mobile payment applications, major players like Google and Square lead the market with these security features.

From a technical standpoint, things get more interesting. With a new transactional platform, new methods of exploitation arise. Indeed, Square has already been hacked twice since 2011. However, it seems that these breaches in card security aren’t significantly different from fraud issues facing credit cards.

Some experts even feel that mobile payments are safer from exploitation than traditional 16-digit credit card accounts. Because credit cards have been in use so long, much more developed and sophisticated methods for cracking these accounts exist. Mobile payment systems may have the added security benefit of simply being new.

While valid concerns surround this new method of payment on the go, the security issues currently facing mobile payments seem manageable at this point. With the continued rapid growth in market share, it seems that the mobile payment movement will continue to march onward.

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